A Writer’s Dream

30 Nov

“A man is not old until regret takes the place of dreams.” John Barrymore.

Here follows a 100 word story for the fine dreamers of Friday Fictioneers.

Story links are here. Pictures of Rochelle kissing her husband are everywhere. 

Alex Selkirk stepped out into the freezing night and stood stock still under the garish streetlights and desultory holiday illumination of strip mall America. Something in him snapped and the weight of years of habit sloughed from his weary shoulders.

Alex walked back into the store’s lobby to a travel agent’s kiosk.
“Help you, sir?” asked the girl working there.
“One way ticket to Maui, please.”
“Any hotel? Rent-a-car?”
“No car, thanks. I’ll get a cab when I get there. A small hotel someplace quiet and green.”
“How does a bed and breakfast in Haiku sound?”
“Like a writer’s dream.”

60 Responses to “A Writer’s Dream”

  1. valeriedavies November 30, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    YES !!!!

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 6:58 am #

      Dear Valerie,

      Can’t tell you how much your one word comment meant to me. I felt at once that you got it and that you’d done just such a thing at least once in your storied life. But most of all the joy of realizing that you were not gone forever from my little world was wonderful to feel.

      Thank you for writing. Visiting. Commenting. Being.



      • valeriedavies November 30, 2012 at 7:10 am #

        Dear Doug,
        I too, can’t tell you how much your loving appreciation means to me. Your message made me smile with love.
        You are one of the special ones in my little blogging world, and I’m constantly amazed at how deep these connections go.
        With love, Valerie.

  2. Sandra November 30, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Bed and breakfast in Haiku, full board in Senryu… whatever. Sounds like a plan to me. Nice one Doug, reflective.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      Dear Sandra,

      Thanks for turning your discerning gaze on my story this week. Beautifully written comment. I like it.



  3. Parul November 30, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    “A man is not old until regret takes the place of dreams.”
    Disturbing thought. I think I am getting old.

    Needless to talk about your story. It’s very nice.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      Dear Parul,

      Getting old is one thing, being old is another entirely. You strike me as the very essence of youth. thanks for reading and commenting.



  4. claireful November 30, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Can I come?

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Dear Claire,

      Sending you a suitcase full of yes.



  5. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields November 30, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Dear Doug,
    You had me from the quote in your intro. I applaud Mr. Selkirk and his sloughing off the years of habit.
    This story speaks volumes in so few words. Well done, my friend.
    Diatomaceously Yours,

    • sustainabilitea November 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      “Diatomaceously Yours,”…don’t ever use that in snail mail, Rochelle, it’s too cutting! 🙂

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      Dear Mrs. Radiolarian,

      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you stopping by to read and leave me such a cryptic conclusion to your comments. I am currently searching for meaning amid the tiny skeletons of your words.



  6. Charles Oyeleke Williams November 30, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Your first line knocks me off my feet…I particularly flatter myself about my youthfulness but i regret, recently, some actions i took…linking my situation with your quote makes me vow never to let go of my dreams…
    About the story, when i saw the prompt, I thought about a trip to the outside world and i almost wrote about it…but then i didn’t. Nice to know we all should dream.
    Thanks for your beautiful comment about my blog picture earlier on. The blog is a year old today and am thankful for you and the wonderful [most of them have fizzled out though] people i’ve met on this blogsphere!

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Dear Charles,

      Don’t ever, ever give up on your dreams and don’t give up on people. I’ve read enough of your stuff to know that you know that people will surprise you. but I know what you mean when you say that most of them have fizzled out. I’ll do my best to not fizzle out.

      Thanks for reading my story and commenting so kindly.



  7. rich November 30, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    epiphany? is that the right word? he had an epiphany? takes guts to do what he did, and i’m jealous of him. well done.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 11:59 am #

      Dear Rich,

      That was a condensed version of how I ended up in Kamuela. One more journey to go. Slow motion epiphany? Apt description of the process.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



      • rich November 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

        aahh, so you’re the one with the guts. wish i had some. happy friday.

  8. boomiebol November 30, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Like it

  9. Joanna (Lazuli Portals Trilogy) November 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I was dreaming when I woke . . . so the song goes. Yes, please, if there’s room for me somewhere almost-nearby, somewhere quiet and green and soft, please book my flight!

    Hope you don’t fizzle, Doug. 😉

    Oh! And I enjoyed the words. 🙂

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      Dear Joanna,

      I’m thinking about forming a writer’s retreat in Haiku, Maui, so your trip is booked and your room with a view is ready. Stranger things have happened. I intend to manifest this and make it so.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. And I’m not going to fizzle out until the Big Fizzle takes me.



      • Joanna (Lazuli Portals Trilogy) November 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

        Ha! You were saying….?!

        Thanks for that – will get myself a Tardis, which would make the transAtlantic journey a tad shorter! 🙂

  10. sustainabilitea November 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Loved the quote, Doug. I always peruse and enjoy your pre-story writing. Loved the story, but having said that and admiring him for his decision (so right for him), I love Christmas, love the decorations, love the snow (if there is any) and find it to be a special time for me. I know it can be special elsewhere, too; just wish I could have Christmas in both places. I try to ignore the more tawdry aspects of the commercialism and focus on the Reason for the season and on spending the time with friends and family.

    However, having said that, Bill and I are packing our bags to come and stay with you. Thanks for the encouragement and the kind, if a bit tangential, invitation! 🙂 So pleased you found your right spot in the world and keep those dreams coming.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      Dear Janet,

      I fully share your pure and focused view of the season and the Reason. It’s folks like you that keep the flame of joy and love burning bright not only in the holiday season, but year round.

      A Writer’s Dream was about one man who finally saw what he needed to do and did it. The bleakness of his world was a catalyst for his actions and in no way a reflection on all the beauty that does exist out there on the mainland. Tawdry is a great word, though.

      And how did you get Tangential forom whatever I’ve written? Was it about the writer’s retreat idea or what? No matter the answer, guests are always welcome, you and bill especially.



      • sustainabilitea November 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

        “Tangential” was most definitely from the remark to Joanna about the writers retreat and the room being ready. Just giving you a hard time about giving us all room to believe we could come over and mooch off you for a bit. 🙂

        You did an excellent job of conveying the bleakness of your narrator’s world and I was happy he took his life into his hands and got out, off to somewhere better for him. My remarks were in no way meant to denigrate your story, just to share my joy in and of “A White Christmas.” That being said, there’s something to be said for being able to be warm and celebrate outdoors!! 🙂 Christmas isn’t a place, it’s what’s in your heart.

        Many happy returns, not matter where they’re located.

      • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

        Hey Janet,

        Never once did the thought that you were denigrating my story enter my brain pan. No worries there.



  11. unspywriter November 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    The ex and I actually did this post-Christmas one year when the snow was three-plus feet here on the east coast. I didn’t get much writing done, but, yep, it was a writer’s dream. Well crafted–I could feel the warm air on my face. Great job, as always.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/tis-the-season/

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Dear Maggie,

      I loved Tis the Season. Thanks for reading and commenting here.



  12. elmowrites November 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    I was going to ask whether this was a true story, Doug – I see from the comments that it near enough is. Well done, you, and Mr Selkirk, for following a dream. I’m not sure about Maui – bad memories are hard to erase – but if there’s a writer’s retreat maybe it will change my mind!

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Dear Jen,

      Okay, I’ll bite. What bad memories about or on Maui? Hard to imagine. And if I have my way there will be the ultimate writer’s retreat there one day. Make you some new memories, we will.

      Thanks for your kind words re A Writer’s Dream. (Hi to Sebastian.)



      • elmowrites November 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

        I’m a sucker for yoda-speak so count me in on those new memories! Also, Sebastian says hi back (he’s talking now, obviously!)

        Bad memories relate to our only trip to Hawaii, known affectionately as our “disastercation”, during which we were robbed, flown to the wrong airport and evacuated for the tsunami (which devastated Japan; we’re well aware of how lucky we were by comparison). To top that, our week on the beach on Maui saw daily rain, and the volcano (one of our main points of interest), which had been happily lava-ing for the months before and continued for months after, took a week off for our week on the Big Island. Hmph, Hawaii!

      • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

        Hi Jen,

        Hawaii is definitely ‘The Watched Pot State’. If you want it to happen while you’re here it’s the kiss of death for your plans. And nobody tells you that April is the rainiest month and that the ones on either side of it are not much better. Robbers should be sacrificed in the Volcano and Tsunami’s, well, what can I say besides get inland no matter what.

        Look at it this way, as Garp said in The World According to Garp, for you, Hawaii has been pre-disatered. What else could happen? (Never mind…) Oh, by the way, let me know next time you’re coming. I’ll use that time to take a nice vacation somewhere else (to make sure I’m not around when the east side of the Big island slides into the sea.)



  13. bridgesareforburning November 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    You lucky dog. Of course this makes me want to hop the next flight to paradise. Also liked the quote you used to intro this. I wonder how many fictioneers will show up on your doorstep soon. Maybe you could start a writers colony. Hawaii is very tempting this time of year and as Oscar Wilde famously said, I can resist anything except temptation! Ron

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      Dear Ron,

      That Oscar Wilde quote is perfect. As for the gathering of the Friday Fictioneeer clan at my doorstep, I say hell yes. Would love to see everyone. Hop that plane, Ron. Temptation awaits.



  14. Russell November 30, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Once Rochelle gets the four lane highway built across the Pacific, we can all load up on the bus and head over. Won’t it be fun sitting around a campfire reading our stories out loud? Maybe you guys can even teach me how to use four syllable words–if you have the patience.

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 1:15 am #

      Dear Russell,

      One lane per syllable? That bridge and your vocabulary lessons are going to be a long time coming. Better off everyone just moves on over and forgets they ever lived on the mainland.

      Thanks for reading this week (and every week)



  15. brudberg November 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    book me instantly
    on Haiku bed and breakfast
    poets paradise

    Well written 🙂

    • rochellewisoff December 1, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Nice haiku on Haiku. 😉

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 1:16 am #

      Dear Bjorn,

      I like tour Haiku almost as much as i love the town. Thanks for contributing it to the comment stream.



  16. Atiya W Townes (@AtiyaWTownes) December 1, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    YES YES YES. Run away, far, far away. I am whole heartedly rooting for Alex. Doug you just made my night.

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 1:18 am #

      Dear Atiya,

      That enthusiastic reception for my story will reserve you a place of honor at the writer’s retreat. Happy to have made your night.



  17. billgncs December 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Doug – I needed to read that first quote. Thanks for sharing it.


    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 1:19 am #

      Dear Bill,

      I needed to read it, too. Which is why it found its way into my intro. Thanks for stopping by.



  18. mysocalledDutchlife December 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    I always like the idea of people living their dream and hope Alex’s snap decision is his Rocky Horror moment – “Don’t dream it, be it”.

    I don’t suppose children are allowed at this B&B? 🙂

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 1:20 am #

      Methinks it was his moment, because he’s gone and done it. Bring all the children you want. More the merrier.



  19. Anne Orchard December 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    What a great story Doug, and so much more poignant for telling us about your moment of decision. Pete and I will have to save up for the retreat!

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 1:22 am #

      Dear Anne,

      I’m beginning to think that there will be no shortage of residents at the retreat. just have to figure out how to make it happen. Thinking cap on, Smoke issuing from damp sawdust between my ears.

      Thanks for dropping by.



  20. WhitneyCarter December 2, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    This has a really awesome sense of calm and relaxation to it. Nice job Doug!

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 1:23 am #

      Dear Whitney,

      What a very nice comment to leave. Thank you so much for that.



  21. Perry Block (@PerryBlock) December 2, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    Don’t I also strike you as the very essence of youth?

    No? Crap!

    Wonderful story of how what we truly want may have always been closer than we think. I won’t be staying at Haiku but at nearby Shlockcomedia. Maybe we can have lunch ….

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 2, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      No Perry,

      Not the very essence of youth. Perhaps youth wasted. Maybe youth in Asia.

      Thanks for dropping in and marking my territory.



  22. tedstrutz December 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    He found his ‘Stairway to Heaven’… I’ve been to Yours. Let me know when you land in Haiku… I’ll be there.

  23. claudia December 3, 2012 at 12:56 am #

    I love that you portrayed the snap…so real and so possible. Don’t we all know the feeling?
    A B&B called Haiku? Perfect!

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 3, 2012 at 1:58 am #

      Dear Claudia,

      Haiku is a small town on the north shore of Maui. Beautiful little place. Area code is 575 if you can believe that.

      Thanks for reading.



  24. Lora Mitchell December 3, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    Doug…I’ll be waiting there for you…and the other FFers.

  25. 40again December 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Dear Doug

    I picture you on a small rickety balcony with drink in hand gazing out on a wonderful blood red sunset.

    The stuff of dreams indeed…………….

    Take care


    • dmmacilroyDouglas macIlroy December 6, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      Dear Dee,

      Good imagination you have there. i almost felt myself transported there. Thank you for dropping in to read and comment.



  26. dmmacilroyDouglas macIlroy December 6, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    Dear Tom,

    See you there, my friend.



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